Governor Signs Resources Budget Trailer Bill
September 15, 2016
SB 839, by the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee, was signed by the Governor on Tuesday, September 13 and takes effect immediately. This is the measure that requires the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) to impose a fee for incidental take permits under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA).
The fee is based on a sliding scale related to cost of the project and is proposed at $7,500 for projects of less than $100k and $30,000 for projects over $500k. The language also provides (DFW) with the authority to charge an additional fee of up to $10,000 if the original fees are deemed to be insufficient. CSAC was opposed to the CESA fee.
Typical of budget trailer bills, SB 839 also includes some positive statutory changes along with the bad. From a positive perspective is the bill’s correction to Food and Agriculture Code Section 52334. Adopted in 2014 through enactment of Assembly Bill 2470 (Salas), this section prohibits a city, county, or district from enacting local ordinances regulating any plant, crop, or seed without obtaining prior consent from the Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).
SB 839 replaces Section 52334 with language that states that “the declaration of a plant, seed, nursery stock, or crop as invasive is a power reserved for the secretary.” CSAC was supportive of this change.
This budget trailer bill also includes a wide range of changes to implement the resources, environmental protection, energy, and agriculture budget actions adopted as part of the 2016-17 Budget package.